In Alaska, there comes a time when you will feel an earthquake, no matter where you live. Whether in South Central, Interior, North Slope, South East, or the Aleutians, you will feel them. There are many of you in the lower 48 who live with the possibility of earthquakes, too. Building an earthquake emergency kit is something none of us can afford to NOT think about.
You can prepare for an earthquake by taking just a few steps.
For instance, everyone in the family should know what to do when an earthquake strikes. Things like where the utility shut-off valves are located and how to turn them off, and having an emergency kit packed and ready to go, which is the focus of this article.
Building an Earthquake Emergency Kit
- A large-ish type backpack. An older Army rucksack works well, and they are generally inexpensive.
- N95 face masks to help filter out dust and fine debris
- Safety glasses to protect eyes
- A whistle to get attention if you’re trapped
- Red Cross emergency app on your phone
- Flashlight and other light sources
- A small first aid kit
- Some type of food that you and your family may like
- Small water purifying system with a water bottle
- All medications you will need for at least two weeks
- Warm clothes, socks, and a pair of slippers. You will need to air out your shoes/boots when hunkering down for a night so as not to have problems with your feet later.
- A tent (lightweight) or tarp in which to get out of the elements. (I recommend throwing in a couple of those thermal cellophane blankets, as you don’t have to just use them for a blanket but as a small tarp on the ground.)
- A lightweight sleeping bag or blanket, depending on the time of year
- Waterproof matches AND a lighter all in plastic bags. You can have soggy waterproof matches, so sticking them in a plastic bag will assure that you WILL have a fire.
- A small magazine or paper in a plastic bag. This will help with lighting a fire if the elements are soggy or undesirable.
- A bottle or two of HEAT. Heat for your car is an excellent way to get a fire going quickly as it is mainly alcohol. Make sure to make a fire pit and only use it sparingly as it is EXTREMELY combustible.
- Toilet paper in a plastic bag
- A lightweight shovel
- A small radio. There are hand-cranked types, but these do not do so well in the cold. Please be aware.
- A small-ish aluminum pot in which to boil water for food or just to drink in case you do not have a purifier.
- An eye dropper size bottle of bleach
- A small bottle of body wash and a washcloth. Do not use wipes as they can dry out your skin.
- A small bottle of lotion, just in case you do need it
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Chapstick or something similar
- Sunglasses and any eyewear (an old pair of glasses in a case).
- A firearm with at least one box of ammo or shells. (.22 and 12 gauge) NO MATTER WHAT!
These items are quick to grab and go in any situation. You’ll be the one who needs to figure out what other items will be needed.
Also, if you have children make sure to put a lightweight stuffed animal and coloring books with a small pack of crayons in their pack or yours. It will help later with their emotions as it is their way to get their emotions out.
Gear Specifically for Right After an Earthquake
There are items you’ll want to have available right away. Read more about Gear You Need in the Immediate Aftermath of an Earthquake.
Modifications for Winter
Winter brings more problems. You can use exactly what I recommended but in heavier-duty clothing, a tent, and sleeping bags. You can also use a child’s sled to help with the items you bring. Just make sure you have a sturdy rope so you can drag the bundles, as well as have a sled that has higher sides.
If you are in tsunami areas, grab your bag and get to the highest elevation you can. The higher you can get, the better your chance of saving your life!
These are recommendations. Always layer clothing! Make sure you have a plan, whether going to a friend’s cabin, your own cabin or hunkering it out. Be safe for you and your family. Only you can protect yourself and your family! Read more earthquake safety tips.
What do you include in your earthquake emergency kit?
Guest post by upinak, Alaskan Preppers Network